How to walk to avoid getting mugged? Science explains it

peatonesGetting mugged is not completely random; aggressors usually look for signs of weakness in their targets. Curiously, walking says a lot about people. To avoid being an easy target, there are steps (literally) you can take.

In 1981, researchers from New York University and Hofstra University published a study in the Journal of Communication establishing a relation between a person’s moves and his/her chance of getting mugged. After recording people’s walking in a dangerous area of New York City, they showed the video to violent prisoners and asked them to rate people based on their vulnerability.

Criminals agreed that older women were the easiest targets, followed by older men, young women and young men, in that order. Scientists concluded that the way they walked, their strides, their rhythm, their upper body positions, etc., were a strong indication of their vulnerability.

In 2006, Japanese researchers Kikue Sakaguchi and Toshikazu Hasegawa, of the University of Tokyo, concluded that those who walk slower, with shorter strides, were more prone to being attacked. This year, a study published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, maintains that psychopaths are more skilled in differentiating people’s walking and identifying their vulnerabilities.

Intuitively, people change their walking when they feel at risk. However, it is hard to act and pretend being strong and secure. It helps to take longer strides, turning your pelvis upon each step, moving your whole body, swinging -not lifting- your feet, showing a lot of arm movement, strong energy and low restriction.

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